CHICAGO – Kenosha's Tony Mantuano is a star in Chicago (thanks to Spiaggia) and beyond (thanks to his television appearances). But he's not too busy to keep one eye on Twitter.
When we arrived in Chicago Friday evening, I tweeted that I hoped to get a table at his Bar Toma, 110 E. Pearson St. – named for a type of cheese with deep, deep roots in Piemontese culture – and that I sure hoped the place lived up to its name and served toma.
Lickety-split, Mantuano retweeted me and assured me that toma is on the menu at Toma. By then, we were being seated – no wait, though the place was busy – at a table near the front of the restaurant, which opened late last year in the shadow of the Water Tower.
We had a great wood-fired pizza margarita ($11) with bubbling cheese and whole, giant basil leaves, and a toma tasting platter ($12) with three varieties: fresh, aged and a version made by Caputo in Illinois that was milky and soft, almost like a fresh ricotta (though not as liquid). The platter also had slices of creminelli salami, house-made preserves and sesame crisps.
My daughter and I shared crispy calamari ($9) and we shared a Cristina salad ($9) – orange supremes, olives, frisee, spinach, avocado, smoked garlic, shrimp, hearts of palm and lemon – around the table, too.
Though the food was all really good and the prices very reasonable, the best part was that Bar Toma really felt like an Italian restaurant in that despite the fact that it was a busy Friday night, most of the employees coo-ed at the kids, offered them samples of gelato and wowed them by tossing pizza dough in the air.
That makes this parent's night out that much more enjoyable.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 26, 2016
You know the old saying, "it takes a village." Well, that village is what's currently fueling the Milwaukee Public Museum's push to get its vast collections digitized and online. That and some funding from grants, too, of course.
Published Sept. 26, 2016
One of the oldest watering holes in the city, the White House, 2900 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is celebrating its 125th birthday on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2 with drink specials, games, raffles, food and more, as well as a food drive for Hunger Task Force.
Published Sept. 22, 2016
There was a time when removing a building was a dramatic affair: buildings imploded with a boom or were pounded by a wrecking ball. These days, thankfully, there's a growing approach that seeks to keep as much waste out of landfills and reuse and recycle as much material as possible.
Published Sept. 21, 2016
Did you know Milwaukee Public Schools has what might be the largest group of public Montessori schools in the world? Now, led by school board member Tati Joseph, there's a push to add a new South Side dual-language program to that group.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
Even in a neighborhood full of vintage architecture, there's no mistaking it. The Italianate Cream City Brick building at 1704 N. 4th St. looks old. If the area has had a long, varied history (and it has), then Baasen House is perfectly at home here.
Published Sept. 18, 2016
There's no better way to get a peek inside Milwaukee's most interesting - and often most historic - sites, many of them typically off limits to the public, than Historic Milwaukee Inc.'s annual Doors Open Milwaukee event. Here are 10 must-see sites.
Published Sept. 15, 2016
This is Brew City, so it should come as no surprise that we value Milwaukee's beer-soaked history. And Regano's Roman Coin has been a part of that tradition for five decades. In honor of it Regano's is throwing a party and we asked Teri Regano about it.
Published Sept. 13, 2016
Yesterday morning, a group of kindergarteners from Milwaukee Public Schools' Rogers Street Academy visited BMO Harris Bank to judge auditions by local sports mascots for roles in the upcoming production of Milwaukee Ballet's "The Nutcracker."
Published Sept. 12, 2016
This past weekend a Tosa resident staged a huge party at Red Dot on North Avenue in East Tosa with Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Rakim, EPMD and others. I was there for the first night of the two-day jam. Here are some images.
Published Sept. 8, 2016
Yesterday, respected Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra was here to talk about two new shows that feature her work. The main focus was on "Rehearsals," a video installations that opens Friday, Sept. 9. The two works in the installation make their museum debuts here.